Friday, November 06, 2009

The Shakers

A religious society, begun in Manchester England by Mother Ann Lee, the Shakers first settled outside Albany, New York in 1776. The term "Shaker" came from the spirited movements they made during religious services and refers to "Shaking Quakers". The Shakers believed that the best way to honor God was to strive for simple perfection. This belief led to the creation of beautiful buildings and artifacts for everyday living which are like nothing else on earth. Although never a large group, the Shakers left several villages which have been preserved and turned into museums. A comprehensive list can be found at the National Park Service Shaker Historic Trail. All of the larger sites are listed below.

Many of the villages include gift shops with Shaker inspired furnishings. Sabbathday Lake, which is the last active Shaker village with 3 or 4 members, includes a gift shop with actual Shaker antiques for sale. You can check out the Shaker Workshops for Shaker inspired home decor and more information on these and other Shaker villages and musuems as well as a comprehensive list of resources.

Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village
707 Shaker Road
New Gloucester, Maine

Alfred Shaker Village
118 Shaker Hill Road
Alfred, Maine
Very limited access but contact them for more information. There will be a Christmas open house in their gift shop in December.

Canturbury Shaker Village
288 Shaker Road,
Canterbury, New Hampshire

Enfield Shaker Museum
447 NH Route 4A
Enfield, New Hampshire

Hancock Shaker Village
Route 20
Pittsfield, Massachusetts
413.443.0188 or 800.817.1137

Shirley Historical Society
This Shaker settlement is located on the grounds of the Massachusetts Correctional Institution and is only open to group tours by appointment.

Fruitlands Museum
102 Prospect Hill Rd
Harvard, Massachusetts
Museum includes a building from the Harvard Shaker Village which is now a collection of private residences.

Shaker Heritage Society
And their blog
875 Watervliet Shaker Rd. Suite 2
Colonie, New York

Shaker Museum and Library
And their blog
202 Shaker Road
Mount Lebanon, New York

88 Shaker Museum Road
Old Chatham, New York

Shaker Historical Society
16740 South Park Boulevard
Shaker Heights, Ohio

Shaker Museum at South Union
850 Shaker Museum Road
South Union, Kentucky
270.542.4167 or 800.811.8379

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill
3501 Lexington Road
Harrodsburg, Kentucky
800.734.5611 or 859.734.5411

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